AppSmyth joined nearly 1,100 industry peers representing 500 chains and over $100 billion in annual sales at the recent invitation-only Restaurant Leadership Conference at the Westin Keirland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The conference, featuring US President Bill Clinton as a keynote speaker, is considered the top-to-top event where the most progressive and influential individuals in the restaurant industry gather each year.

AppSmyth attended the annual event as a silver sponsor and restaurant-tech industry leader. RLC states their intention is to “provide thought leadership and environment that restaurant executives and their organizations use in meeting face-to-face to build critical relationships that result in business and personal success.”

Lee Cohn, AppSmyth and RP3 partner, attended the Restaurant Leadership Conference and shares that the industry response at RLC was intensely positive and resulted in a number of in-person meetings.

“The response was way above our expectations.  The reception we got from everyone was extremely welcoming, as they were very interested in what Ravi Grewal had to say,” said Cohn, one of RP3’s founding partners.  “Everyone is looking for what we’re doing. I’ve done this a lot, and you can tell when someone is taking a meeting out of courtesy, but this was the opposite.  We took lots of questions from people and an impressive number of in-person meetings.  We felt really good about the reception for what we’re selling people.”

“It is obvious that what we have is way ahead of anyone else,” said Cohn. “There were a number of app booths there, and I sat in on a number of panels. They all talked about how the restaurant industry was way behind in adopting technology and they are focused on staying ahead of the curve.  Restaurants are behind in this technology from the way we process payments, from taking someone’s credit card and bringing it back to them at the table, that is ridiculous.  All three people on the panel said the same thing: the restaurant industry is slow to adapt this technology.  Chili’s is putting tablets on tables for order and payment and the kids play games.  You can immediately order a drink and appetizer, the servers still take your main order, but you don’t have to wait around.  This stuff has been around, but people are just now jumping on it.”

Cohn is recognized as a leading expert in restaurant concept development, management and operations and has served on the board of directors of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Marie Callendar’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, Quaker Steak and Lube, Mastro’s Steak House Group and Real Food Daily.  Read more about AppSmyth’s partnership with RP3 here.